Saturday, July 26, 2008

The holy blisful martir for to seke that hem hath holpen

In this Canterbury Tale, Bishop Gene Robinson recounts his experience making his own pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral while the bishops at the Lambeth Conference were off in London on Thursday. Bishop Gene was told "We can't have any photographs or film of you entering the Cathedral," he said, "because we want this to be a church for ALL people." He thinks the gentleman who made this statement was representing the Dean and Chapter.

I wonder whether the remark was caught on video. In any case, it was very foolish and is part of the general pattern of ill considered and ungenerous actions toward Bishop Gene, and indeed others, during this Lambeth Conference.

Happily for us and for him, Bishop Gene reports on other, more positive, experiences -- with bishops, clergy, and laity -- young and old.

Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
(And Bishops for to seken straunge strondes)
To ferne halwes couth in sondry londes;
And specially,from every shires ende
Of Anglicanlond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
(Prologue to the Canterbury Tales -- modified by EAM)
The Anglican Bishops (and the the Anglican Communion as a whole) is indeed "seke" right now. The Lead quotes Bishop Catherine Roskam as saying "... I confess to you that I almost lost my temper in our Indaba session this morning when one bishop said he thought that our focus on the MDG's was a distraction from the issue of human sexuality." That quote is here on Bishop Catherine's blog (#7) on the Diocese of New York web site; the remark is a sign of the sickness of the communion.

I pray for the healing of the communion, of the church in general, of the bishops. I pray that our faithful US bishops will have strength to carry on. I pray that the dissident bishops will cease their warfare and find peace.

I pray especially for Bishop Gene and Bishop Catherine and for the other blogging bishops, for my diocesan, Bishop Mark and for Presiding Bishop Katharine. I pray for Archbishop Rowan. And I pray for Bishop Bob, Bishop Jack, Bishop John-David, Bishop Martyn, Presiding Bishop Greg, Archbishop Peter, and all other Bishops.

O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men (and women and children); that thou wouldest be pleased to make thay ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally we commend to thy fatherly [that is, parental] goodness, all those who are in anyways afflicted in mind, body, or estate; especially those Anglican Bishops whom I have named, all other Anglican Bishops, Priests, and Deacons and the entire laity, especially LGBTQ persons; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, snd a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

No comments: